Bashir is confronted by Luther Sloan while on a mission to Romulus.
As Dr. Bashir prepares for a medical conference on Romulus, Section 31 operative Luther Sloan shows up in his usual manner in Bashir's quarters and gives Bashir an intelligence assignment, alluding to Bashir's affection for romanticized spy stories in a holosuite, but providing the dear doctor something real to take up this time.
Garak reminisces about his former Romulan assignment as a gardener of sorts in a Cardassian embassy and notes to Bashir how everything on Romulus is grey—the buildings, architecture, the people, even the Romulan heart—expressing distaste at how dull and unimaginative they are.
The back story of all of it is that at the time of the conference on Romulus, the powerful Continuing Committee, akin to Politburo in the USSR, is to convene and select one of the candidates for a vacant seat in the committee. The candidates are Koval, the head of Tal Shiar, and Admiral Cretak. Sloan appears to fear that Koval is against the Federation-Romulan alliance in the Dominion War.
Bashir boards the USS Bellerophon, a contemporary Intrepid-class transport to Romulus, and discusses the matter with Admiral Ross there. Ross would rather see Cretak fill the vacancy, but expresses reservations about the Federation appearing to meddle in Romulan politics.
While en route, Bashir encounters Sloan, who makes convenient use of an alias and a fake background for disguise. Sloan's precence shows that whatever Bashir does or does not do, does not go without some kind of oversight: after all, it's Bashir's first such mission.
On the Bellerophon, Sloan informs Bashir that Koval is infected with a Dengii virus and Bashir is to get and report a medical examination of Koval, performed by way of a handshake with a few small/hidden sensors in Bashir's hand and visual observations from a close range.
The Romulan with whom the Doctor spends most of his time talking with is actually Cretak, who volunteers a few bits and insights into Romulan life and how much the Tal Shiar has permeated throughout the society.
Before Cretak's very eyes, Bashir and Koval encounter, talk a little and shake hands.
After that, the Doctor tells Cretak that Koval is not very talkative, at which Cretak quietly scoffs that Koval has spoken substantially more with Bashir than she and Koval ever have within the past six months.
Back on Bellerophon, Bashir tells Sloan what he has learned about Koval, while the Section 31 operative shows considerable interest at Koval's illness. Bashir thus connects the dots and fears that Koval is about to be killed by Sloan or someone who does his bidding.
Unable to contact Deep Space 9, the Doctor wants to turn to Admiral Ross, but Ross has coincidentally fallen ill and can't speak to anyone. So he turns to Cretak for information about Koval's medical condition. Cretak is initially distrustful, but feels that Bashir's appeals for information are genuine. However, the minute she accesses the database entry on Koval, she is detained.
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"Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges."
- - William Ross and Julian Bashir
"The Federation needs men like you, Doctor. Men with conscience, men who can sleep at night. And you're also the reason that Section 31 exists: to protect men like you from a universe which doesn't share your sense of right and wrong."
- - Luther Sloan to Julian Bashir
"This war isn't even over, and you're already preparing for the next one!"
"Very astute, Doctor."
- - Bashir and Sloan
- "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" is Latin, meaning literally "When confronted by arms, the law becomes mute" (although in the episode, Dr. Bashir translated the phrase as "In times of war, the law falls silent"). This was originally from the Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero's speech Pro Milone ("For Milo"), in which it was meant as a defiant reference to armed men ringing the Roman Forum intended to intimidate Cicero during his defense of Titus Annius Milo on a politically-tinged murder charge. The case hinged on the meeting of Milo, a praetor and leader of one political mob in Rome and his enemy, Tribunis Plebis and fellow mob leader Publius Clodius Pulcher outside of Rome, where Milo killed Pulcher during a scuffle between their retinues. Pulcher had been supported under the table by the triumvir Julius Caesar, a political enemy of Cicero's and the most powerful man in Rome at the time, and so the case was seen as one that put Cicero, recently returned from exile at the hands of Pulcher, at some personal risk. Therefore, Cicero gave a greatly watered-down version of the speech he had intended to give to spare himself from Clodian and Caesarian retribution. Cicero lost, and Milo was exiled to Gaul. Due to this history, it is also an obvious reference to the less-than-lawful methods of Luther Sloan and Section 31, who acted as a law unto themselves, and the seeming willingness of the Federation and otherwise honorable Federation officials such as Admiral William Ross to overlook these methods in the name of Federation safety.
- This is the only appearance, outside of Star Trek: Voyager, of the Intrepid-class of starships in another Star Trek series.
- This is the last episode of the series to be directed by David Livingston.
- This is the last stand-alone episode of the series before the final ten-episode arc.
- Sloan references the group of genetically-engineered humans from the episode "Statistical Probabilities".
- This is the first time in Star Trek that we see a Federation starship (the USS Bellerophon) visit Romulus.
- Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) do not appear in this episode. Besides Alexander Siddig (Julian Bashir), none of the other cast members appear in more than one scene.
- Andrew Robinson only appears in the opening teaser.
- Subcommander Velal (mentioned by Cretak here) later appears (played by Stephen Yoakam) in the episodes "When It Rains..." and "The Dogs of War".
- The role of Senator Cretak was originally played by Megan Cole in "Image in the Sand" and "Shadows and Symbols".
- John Fleck makes his fourth Star Trek appearance here - his third and last on Deep Space Nine. His first appearance was in TNG: "The Mind's Eye", where he played another Romulan, Taibak. His two previous DS9 appearances came in DS9: "The Homecoming" as a Cardassian officer and DS9: "The Search, Part I" as the Karemma First Minister Ornithar. He later guest-stars in VOY: "Alice" before taking on the recurring role of Silik in Star Trek: Enterprise.
Sets and costumes
- All of the scenes aboard the Bellerophon are filmed on Star Trek: Voyager sets, as Voyager was also an Intrepid-class ship. Specifically, the mess hall, the lower-ranking crewmen's quarters, and the conference room are used (and the bridge can be seen in the background).
- This is the only episode where we see the new-style white dress uniforms, created for Star Trek: Insurrection, as worn by Julian Bashir and Admiral Ross while meeting with delegates on Romulus.
Links and References
- Andrew Robinson as Elim Garak
- Adrienne Barbeau as Kimara Cretak
- John Fleck as Koval
- Barry Jenner as William Ross
- Hal Landon Jr. as Neral
- Cynthia Graham as Wheeler
- Joe Reynolds as Hickam
- William Sadler as Luther Sloan
Bellerophon, USS; biogenic weapon; Continuing Committee; Department of Cartography; Dividices, IRW; embassy; etymology; Federation hospital ship; Frame; gardener; Fujisaki; Genorex, IRW; Greer, Wendell; Hornet, USS; Jepella; kali-fal; Merchant of Venice, The; microcellular adhesive, Pensho; praetor; proconsul; Quickening; Rigelian; Romulan ale; Romulan Conference; Romulan mind probe; Romulan Star Empire; Romulus; Rotarran, IKS; Section 31; set'leth; Tal Shiar; Tuvan Syndrome; Velal
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